Skype: Reportedly Funneling Your Calls To PRISM Since 2011

Nick Statt Author: Publish date: Section: Web Interaction count: 9

The privacy-touting communication platform has allegedly circumvented its privacy features for the NSA since 2011.

Skype, long thought to be a privacy haven for its encrypted communication, reportedly began integrating its systems into the NSA's PRISM program as early as November of 2010, nearly a year prior to joining Microsoft in the fall of 2011, according to a new report from the Guardian

In the latest U.S. surveillance revelation from leaker Edward Snowden, the Guardian has laid out a timeline of Skype's alleged involvement in PRISM, starting in February 2011 after it was reportedly served with a directive to comply. The actual integration process, however, reportedly began four months earlier. 

Skype reportedly began sending audio and text messages to the NSA, which shared the data with the FBI and CIA. The Guardian also reported that Skype, under the helm of Microsoft, worked closely with the NSA to enable the collection of video calls starting in July 2012.

Skype's privacy policy claims to protect "your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal data, traffic data and communications content," and the platform has long boasted to its user base of more than 650 million users worldwide of its inability to perform police wiretaps thanks to encryption. In response to the leaked information, Microsoft told the Guardian: 

...[W]hen we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That's why we've argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.
Updated on July 12 at 3:05pm to attribute the PRISM allegations to the Guardian's reporting throughout our story.